He has a colleague who, according to the battle records, once raised his spear and three hundred men fell dead before him. He often wonders if “three hundred” is an exaggeration, but there are many still alive to tell the story.

He has another colleague who planted himself in the middle of a field of barley, and defended the field from invaders. (The fact that he defended an entire field is more impressive than the feat of wiping out an entire army, because all warriors know that it’s more difficult to protect than to kill.)

Another three co-workers were even more daring when they risked their lives just to draw water from a well – a well guarded by the enemy’s garrison. The king apparently made an off-hand comment about being thirsty for water from this specific well, and they had overheard. In the end, the king didn’t drink the water, no matter how hard they tried to guilt-trip him into drinking it. To this day, they still debate about the bravery versus foolishness of these three warriors, although no one has ever doubted their strength.

He knows another colleague who has even wilder histories surrounding him, telling of how he’d gone down a pit and killed a lion, or how he killed a spear-wielding giant Egyptian armed with nothing but a club – which he didn’t even use it in the end.

He wonders what makes them famous; whether it is what they do, or whether it is because of who they are. Or maybe it’s because of an entirely different reason, but he’s not being paid to think, so all he does in the end is run after them so they won’t feel so far away.


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